Saudi firm the first bidder for Turkish lignite plant
Turkey has found around 1.8 billion tons of lignite reserves in the Central Anatolian province of Konya after four years of seismic drilling conductions. AA photoA Saudi firm has applied for the construction of a coal-fired power station, to be built in the Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Karapınar district, where lignite reserves have recently been discovered.
“A Saudi Arabian company has applied and we are also waiting for Turkish companies,” said Halil Alış, director general of Electricity Generation Company (EÜAŞ), according to daily Dünya.
Some 1.8 billion tons of lignite reserves have been discovered at the site, enough to fuel a thermal power station generating 5,000 megawatts of electricity for 30 to 40 years.Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has said an investment worth between $7 billion and $8 billion is expected.
Turkey had previously signed a landmark deal with the United Arab Emirates to develop coal fields in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş’s Afşin-Elbistan neighborhood. The giant project, worth nearly $12 billion, will generate 8,000 megawatts of electricity.
The power plant to be built in Konya will emulate the lignite plant in Afşin-Elbistan, Alış also said.
After two failed tender attempts for the establishment of the Afşin-Elbistan plant, the government decided to proceed with a private-public partnership model, which will also be adopted for the Konya plant, according to Alış.
The project is part of Turkey’s efforts to be freed of soaring import dependency rises, with shale gas reserve searches and synthetic gas production also accelerating.
Oil-giant Shell has been drilling around the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir for shale gas, and the energy ministry recently announced that shale gas potential had been indicated in the provinces of Ankara, Konya and Kırşehir as a result of seismic drillings.Synthetic gas by the gasification of lignite coal has also appeared also as an option after production started in the Tavşanlı district of the Aegean province of Kütahya. Turkey is seeking to obtain 1-1.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year, equal to almost one ninth of Turkey’s entire natural gas needs.